Welcome back! Much of the US, including stock traders and your humble CNN Business editors, are returning from a three-day weekend rested, relaxed, and, in Wall Street’s case, maybe a little too excited for summer.
Here’s what you might have missed if you’re hung over tired from long days in the sun at a safe distance from strangers.
If you didn’t spend your weekend staring at news alerts on your phone, you might have missed one of the most high-profile bankruptcies of the corona-crisis.
Hertz, the 100-year-old rental car company that also operates the Dollar and Thrifty brands, filed for bankruptcy late Friday night.
The company was already buckling under a mountain of debt, and when the pandemic hit, rentals plummeted.
- BIG PICTURE: The US travel and auto industries are in deep trouble. Rental car companies like Hertz and rival Avis get two-thirds of their revenue from their airport locations, which are now veritable ghost towns as air travel tanks. None of it is good news for the automakers that sell cars to rental companies and are already struggling to revive production after shutting factories for two months.
- HOW IT MIGHT AFFECT YOU: Rental companies are about to drop thousands of used vehicles on the market, which can be good news and bad for consumers. On one hand, you’re more likely to find a good deal on a used car. That could be a lifeline for furloughed or laid-off workers. But it could also reduce the value of trade-ins, which is bad news for new-car buyers.
- AND TO TOP IT OFF: Hertz secured millions of dollars in bonuses for executives as it prepared to lay off thousands of workers. That sort of retention bonus is not uncommon, but it’s a really bad look right now.
Twitter is under pressure to solve its Trump conundrum, but once again it’s essentially shrugging at outrageous tweets from the President.
The latest scandal involves a series of tweets by President Trump that peddle a baseless, decades-old conspiracy accusing MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough of murder. When I say baseless, I mean really, really, lacking any firm ground: The death in question was not a murder but a tragedy involving a woman who worked for Scarborough and who died in a 2001 accident. The woman’s husband is a private citizen, and he sent a personal appeal to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to remove the tweets.
“An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet,” T.J. Klausutis wrote in the letter.
Twitter is refusing to budge, however, saying the President hasn’t violated the company’s terms of service.
EUPHORIA, PANIC, REPEAT
Deja vu trigger warning: Investors are feeling euphoric about positive results from human trials for a coronavirus vaccine. (Honestly could have copy-and-pasted that sentence from a week ago when the exact same thing happened.)
They’re also encouraged by signs that consumer spending is coming back for the summer.
Although news of packed beaches and an uptick in travel over Memorial Day weekend may have given the economy a boost, it comes with obvious public health risks that investors may not be accounting for.
Citigroup has an actual “Panic/Euphoria Index” that has flipped into euphoric territory, which has historically been a contrarian indicator suggesting weaker performance ahead. More on what the heck Wall Street is thinking here.
Tattoos and manicures simply don’t agree with social distancing protocols, so artists are getting creative to stay afloat while their customers stay home. Introducing DIY at-home tattoo kits!
CNN Business’ Shannon Liao spoke to several hair, nail and tattoo artists about how they’re adapting their hands-on businesses to a no-touching world.
BRB, HUNG OVER TILL 2024
We already know you’re getting boozy at home more often, and honestly, not going out to bars has probably been a blessing for your bank account. But with bars and restaurants closed, music festivals and most nonessential travel canceled, sales for the alcohol industry as a whole are tanking.
Global sales will likely fall 12% this year after growing slightly last year. According to a firm that tracks alcohol sales, the 2020 pandemic is hitting sales even harder than the 2008 financial crisis.
Unlike your occasional Tuesday night benders, however, the hangover for the industry may last years.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Sandwich Wars update: Don’t discount the Colonel.
- Streaming Wars update: Don’t discount HBO Max.
- XBox aims for another hit with ‘Minecraft Dungeons’ launch.
- Airbnb hosts are selling off their properties as demand evaporates.